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Wrightson Forestry Services Accredited With FSC

Wrightson Forestry Services Accredited With Internationally Recognised FSC

Wrightson Forestry Services is offering independent forest owners accreditation with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) through its (Wrightson's) new group certification scheme.

Confirmation of the accreditation with the German-based FSC organisation was received recently after months of preparatory work by Wrightson Forestry Services personnel. FSC aims to promote environmentally sound and economically viable management of the world's forests.

Wrightson Forestry Services' Dunedin-based forestry consultant Denis Albert believes the Wrightson Forestry Services Sustainable Landowners Group accreditation will help many smaller forest owners access profitable overseas markets.

"Most of New Zealand's wood is exported in some form or another," he says. "Because of increasing global concerns about environmental issues, we are now finding many overseas markets are wanting assurances that the wood they receive has been grown in certified, environmentally sustainable forests."

Albert says the group accreditation will benefit smaller forestry owners by spreading the often-prohibitive cost of certification.

"In New Zealand, about quarter of our forests are classified as small private forests. Wrightson Forestry Service's group FSC accreditation means that private forests can now be FSC accredited. By becoming a member of the Wrightson Forestry Services Sustainable Landowners Group, and meeting the groups forest management standards, private forest owners can enjoy the benefits of the group's FSC accreditation."

Group members are covered by the group accreditation certificate which they can use as leverage to avoid being shut out of lucrative offshore markets.

Albert says the path toward accreditation began with three original group members who went through the group scheme proposal process with Wrightson Forestry Services.

"They were quite different organisations, proving private forest owners of all sizes will benefit from the group accreditation."

Landcorp's Woodstock Station in Hawkes Bay, Catlins Forestry Company in Southland, and Taihape farmer and forester Warren Plimmer were the founding members of Wrightson Forestry Services' accredited group. The Young Partnership, represented by Eion Young, has also recently certified their Mark Hill Forest in South Otago through the group. This will complement the separate FSC accreditation process Young Partnership is currently undergoing, seeking certification for its wood processing activities.

A unique feature of the group scheme is the provision of reference material and templates to assist prospective members prepare the documentation required for admission to the group.

FSC is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation. More than 500 forest managers and 2500 producers, covering a total of 45 million hectares of forest throughout the world are certified to FSC standards.

ENDS

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